What is HLS?
HLS stands for HTTP Live Streaming. Put succinctly, HLS is a media streaming protocol for delivering visual and audio media to viewers over the Internet.The HLS streaming protocol divides MP4 video content into short, 10 second chunks. HTTP then delivers these short clips to viewers. This technology makes HLS compatible with a wide range of devices and firewalls. Latency (or lag time) for HLS live streams compliant with the specification tends to be in the 15-30 second range. This is certainly an important factor to keep in mind.
Why use HLS?
HLS avoids the network problems sometimes associated with traditional streaming protocols, and offers additional benefits:
- DRM support
- Live and time-shifted playback
- Multi-language audio
- Adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming
(ABR is built into the HTTP streaming protocol, and works by detecting a user’s bandwidth and CPU capacity in real time and adjusting the stream quality accordingly.)